Morning Reading Nov. 25.

I confess, dear reader, that the title does leave much to be desired, doesn’t it. Don’t worry, I’m working on that. These morning posts may only have have the date in the title for now, but I’m working on something creative and puny to give y’all a glimpse of what’s inside from day to day. Thanks for hanging with me as I work out these kinks.

As always, here’s an excerpt or two from my morning reading today. Continuing back with Jack Gilbert’s poems that I read yesterday, here is another bit from the first one. Tomorrow, I’ll share my third and final excerpt from that one before, reluctantly, moving on. Have a good day. 🙂

“It puzzles me that / I care so much for the ghost of the boy in high school, / since I am not interested in those times. But I know / why the other one frightens me. He is the question / about whether the loves were phantoms of what existed / as appearance only.” — from “Becoming Regardless” by Jack Gilbert

Here’s from the prose. Fun stuff to think about…

“A lot of foot and knee injuries that are currently plaguing us are actually caused by people running with shoes that actually make our feet weak, cause us to over-pronate, give us knee problems. Until 1972, when the modern athletic shoe was invented by Nike, people ran on very thin-soled shoes, had strong feet, and had much lower incidence of knee injuries.” — Daniel Lieberman, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Harvard, via “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall

Morning Reading Nov. 24: Ghosts and Going Barefoot

Normally, when I get to the poetry in my morning readings, I start with the final poem of the day before. This gives me another chance to digest it, in case I missed something or was too overwhelmed by the beauty of its ideas. Normally, I’ll read 3-10 poems in a morning after that.

Not today. Today, I only got through two.

The first poem of today’s reading is fantastic! I think I may need to take a few days in the winter just to analyze it and focus on it alone. Anyway, after that happened, I read the next one, expecting something lighter and less mind-blowing. 

Instead, I got a shorter poem that rocked my world even more. I think tomorrow I’ll go back and just read these two poems again. There’s so much to each, I may be able to spend three legitimate days just quoting and thinking about these two alone, which I will probably do, because that will be fun. 🙂

Expect nothing from diligently doing what you love, and it will give you more than you ever imagined possible. :). Here are some of the quotes I loved the most :).

(Note: /’s denote line breaks, which I include out of respect for the poet since I cannot figure out how to single-space text here manually at the moment).

“I try to see in what is left of the light down there / the two I was. The ghost of the boy in high school / just before I became myself. The other is the ghost / of the times later when I could fall in love: / the first time, and three years after that for eight / years, and the last time ten years after. I feel / a great tenderness for all the dozen ghosts down / there trying to remain what they were.” — from “Becoming Regardless” by Jack Gilbert


And the other, which is interesting to consider, though I promise I’m not even thinking about going barefoot style running just yet lol:

“No wonder your feet are so sensitive,” Ted mused. “They’re self-correcting devices. Covering your feet with cushioned shoes is like turning off your smoke alarms.” — from “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall

Morning Reading Nov. 23.

Hi everyone!

Here are some interesting quotes from my morning reading. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them. 🙂

Waiting meaning without things. Meaning love sometimes dying out, sometimes being taken away. Meaning that often he lives silent in the middle of the world’s music. Waiting for the best to come again. Beginning to hear the silence as he waits. Beginning to like the silence maybe too much.” — From “Waiting And Finding” by Jack Gilbert.

Here’s my favorite of the day:

“But that smile is strangely stirring. You can tell she’s having an absolute blast, as if there’s nothing on earth she’d rather be doing than here, on this lost trail in the middle of the Appalachian wilderness. Even though she’s just run four miles farther than a marathon, she looks light-footed and carefree, her eyes twinkling, her ponytail swinging around her head like a shirt in the fist of a triumphant Brazilian soccer player. Her naked delight is unmistakable; if forces a smile to her lips that’s so honest and unguarded, you feel she’s lost in the grip of artistic inspiration.” — From “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall

Neat Things I read on Nov. 16.

Dear Readers 🙂

I have to stop by the library today and pick up another collection of Jack Gilbert poems, so today’s final quote is a recycled one many of you liked, but it goes well with the other one, which I did discover just this morning. Here’s a quote or two from my daily reading:

“Vigil could smell the apocalypse coming, and he’d tried to warn his runners. ‘There are two goddesses in your heart,’ he told them. ‘The Goddess of Wisdom and the Goddess of Wealth. Everyone thinks they need to get wealth first, and wisdom will come. So they concern themselves with chasing money. But they have it backwards. You have to give your heart to the Goddess of Wisdom, give her all your love and attention, and the Goddess of Wealth will become jealous, and follow you.’ Ask nothing from your running, in other words, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.” —from “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall.

Come to think of it, I bet the same principle applies to dance. Anyway, here’s y’all’s second quote from my morning reading, which goes well with all that:

“Think, they say patiently, we could make you famous again. Let me fall in love one last time, I beg them. Teach me mortality, frighten me into the present. Help me to find the heft of these days. That the nights will be full enough and my heart feral.”
—from “I Imagine The Gods” by Jack Gilbert

Something New To Watch For

About a week ago, I started reading every day. Keep in mind that at Kansas State University, I am an English major, meaning I often have a serious amount of reading to do just for classes. Add in that I’m a senior, and you could rightfully presume my workload of for-class readings is at least significant enough to make leisurely reading difficult to schedule.

Still, as I sat down with a cup of green tea, a book of Jack Gilbert poems, and “Born To Run” by Christopher McDougall, I was excited. That took place Nov. 16.

Since then, I’ve been posting the occasional excerpt or two from my morning reading. I don’t always read as many poems from day to day, or as many chapters from day to today, the balance in how much I read of each is determined both by how I’m feeling and what I’m in the mood for, and I think it unwise to become married to one “minimum” guideline in either, because then reading just becomes a chore.

With all due respect to the amazing writers I read as part of homework for my two English classes this semester: That’s what homework’s for.

Yesterday, I began adding scripture, which I see as part of my ongoing efforts to become closer to God (which, as a Christian, is a really big deal in my life, even though I’m subtle about it). Now, I’m developing a routine. Every day before classes or rehearsal or anything else, I’m reading. I’ve always loved my mornings, and I’ve always loved getting up early as I relished all that was to come in the day. Recreational reading, however, has added new energy to that desire, energy I didn’t know was missing. It’s fun to go to bed every night now, not because I’m tired, but because I’m eager to wake up the next day and observe what life teaches me. That’s what this reading habit has started to do for me just eight days into the process of being established.

So today, I’m making this public. From now on, I’ll share with you the occasional excerpt from my daily reading. I won’t do too much with scripture in these posts, but otherwise if I find something interesting or thought provoking or inspirational, I’ll share it with you.

Let me know what you think in the comments below, or feel free to comment on any of my posts as I submit them. Tomorrow I’ll start with a post I shared on Facebook last week, and I’ll post one a day for the next week until I’ve got you caught up with Facebook.

Check back tomorrow :).

-Shelton 🙂